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How to build a sales funnel for digital products

Anyone who’s ever purchased anything had to go on some kind of buyer’s journey. Creators who are most successful at getting people to buy their products at the end of the buyer’s journey build what’s called a sales funnel. In this video, I’m going to explain how the sales funnel works and share examples of how Podia’s marketing tools can help you build one. Let’s get into it.

Welcome to “First sale to full scale”, a 10-video series that covers the journey from making your first digital product to running a full-scale online business.

In the previous video, we talked about how to turn your digital download into an online course. One of the main themes we discussed was how most valuable products take someone from where they are to where they want to be. That part of the journey, after a customer has decided to purchase your product, can’t happen unless the customer completes the part of the journey before. The buyer’s journey.

Ahead, we’re going to talk about how to intentionally shape the buyer’s journey with a sales funnel, breaking down each stage of the process and providing examples of how Podia’s marketing tools can work in each stage.

There are four stages to an effective sales funnel. They are awareness, interest, decision, and action.

First, let’s talk about awareness. Before a potential customer can consider whether or not they need or want your product, they need to be aware that it exists.

Many creators build awareness through posting on social media, affiliate marketing, networking with people in their niche, and content marketing.

While many of these things happen outside of the tools Podia offers, there are two tools that can help you create awareness.

The first is community. Community can be sold as a product by offering different types of membership plans, but you can also offer a free plan and post public topics that anyone can view and share. This can be even more powerful if you have existing members who share your public content.

Second is affiliate marketing. One of the best ways to raise awareness is through word of mouth. Affiliate marketing does this so effectively because it provides a monetary incentive for people to share your products with others. Podia offers affiliate marketing on Shaker and Earthquaker plans and makes it super easy for you to track and pay your affiliates.

Now that you’ve got a structure in place to help people become aware of your products, it’s time to move them down the funnel into the next stage, interest.

A potential customer is interested when it’s clear to them that your product might be a potential solution to a problem they have. Interest can range from very broad, like someone who needs to make more money in their business and sees that you sell business coaching, to very specific, like someone who needs to fix their hiring process and sees that you teach how to attract and hire great employees.

Interest can be achieved through things like a lead magnet, email list, or free webinar.

In this series, we’ve already talked a lot about how to make a digital download. A free digital download makes a great lead magnet because it allows your potential customer to experience your ability to solve their problem without them having to spend anything.

Another tool you can use with Podia is email marketing. An email newsletter is a great way to provide value while building a relationship with your potential customer. Your connection with the customer is super important in the next stage, and an email newsletter does a great job at deepening that connection over time.

You might also consider offering a free webinar. Webinars are also available through Podia and can be a fantastic way to take your potential customer all the way through the later stages of the sales funnel. Webinars gain a customer’s interest by promising to solve some small problem they may be experiencing. In this video, we talk about how to run a successful webinar. Definitely check it out if you want to know how to run a webinar like a pro.

The key to using these tools is to prime the customer for the next stage. Promise to solve a small problem, deliver on that promise, and then once they’ve seen that you can deliver, show them the solution you’ve built for their bigger problem. If you can do this effectively, you’ve led them into the decision stage.

The decision stage is where customers are convinced that your product is a potential solution, but they still have questions or concerns. Your job in this stage is to answer their questions and concerns and to make it clear to them that your product would be a great fit.

With Podia’s messaging feature, potential customers can chat with you in real-time to get answers to their questions. Many Podia creators have helped customers through the decision stage using this tool. The ability of the customer to reach the product creator and get answers to their questions right away is a huge plus when it comes to their decision of whether or not to buy.

Email marketing works in this stage as well. With Podia’s email marketing tool, you can build an automated email sequence that sends a series of emails on a predetermined schedule. In this video, we talk about how to build a five-email drip sequence that will take your customer through each stage of the funnel and get them to buy your products. The best thing about the drip sequence is that once you’ve built it, it does the rest of the work for you. Like, you could actually be making sales in your sleep. Not a bad deal.

One of the most important tools Podia offers for this stage, and really every stage besides awareness, is the Podia site builder. With the Podia site builder, you can build a sales page that includes important elements to help your customer make a final decision. These elements can include an FAQ section, guarantees, testimonials, and special offers. Check out this video if you’d like a more in-depth look at how to build an effective sales page.

Once your customer has enough information and makes a decision, it’s time for them to take action. It would be a shame if your customer made it this far, and it wasn’t one hundred percent clear on how to take action. In this stage, it’s your job to make it as easy and obvious as possible for your customer to click the buy button.

One of the most obvious places to do this is on your sales page. The Podia site builder makes it easy to create sales sections on any of your pages. They could be as simple as a buy button, or elaborate as a call to action with a big title, description, video, and button.

With Podia’s Shaker and Earthquaker plan, you can also embed buy buttons and bring the Podia checkout experience to your own website.

You can also link directly to products in your emails, and Podia will track when a customer completes a purchase after clicking your product link.

Finally, with any Podia plan, you can offer upsells to other products or product bundles, so you can capture new sales when customers are most primed to buy, at the point of purchase.

So those are the four stages of the sales funnel and how you can use Podia tools to intentionally shape the buyer’s journey and lead them to your products. If you have any questions or thoughts about sales funnels, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. In the next video, we’ll talk about how to build a community around your brand and Podia’s Community tool.

If you found this video helpful and you want more content like this, click the subscribe button and hit the notification bell so you’ll be sure not to miss any future videos. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next time.

About the author

Ben is a video content marketer for Podia, an all-in-one platform where online courses, digital downloads, and membership websites – alongside their creators – thrive.